Why Didn't I Learn This in School: Terrible Taxes

Benjamin Franklin famously said: "The only thing for certain is death and taxes."

But what Benny didn't tell us is how confusing those forms can be.

To start, why do we pay taxes? We're all chipping in to fund the many programs and services that make our lives a little easier. You're a dependent if a parent or guardian pays 50 percent of your support, and you live with them for at least half the year.

Factors like your age and how much money you earn determine when you're no longer counted as a dependent -- and need to start paying.

See a guide to the most commonly used tax forms below:

Let's dive into the two most common forms you'll face: The W-2 and the I-9. The I-9 is nothing to be scared of -- every time you get a job, you'll have to fill one out. It's your name and social security number to prove you're eligible to work. If you've been paid at least $600 to work from an employer, they're sending you a W-2 at the end of the year.

1099 forms are typical for freelancers. 1099 forms don't withhold taxes, so be ready to pay more when the time comes.

By law, your employer will mail your tax documents to you by January 21st of that tax year.

The 3 most common forms are 1040EZ if you make less than $50K, 1040A if you make less than $50K with the option of more income sources, and 1040 (nicknamed the "long form") if you make more than $50K and need to itemize.

To itemize, you'll need one more form -- a Schedule A of your 1040. This means you could have a ton of deductions from your gross income before you pay taxes, which means you pay less.

The deadline for taxes is April 15. You can get an automatic extension for October 15, but this is an extension for filing -- not paying.

Everybody has to pay taxes but knowing what forms to fill out - and when - can keep you from paying more than you have to.

Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.
Deducting Summer Camps and Daycare with the Child and Dependent Care Credit
If you paid a daycare center, babysitter, summer camp, or other care provider to care for a qualifying child under age 13 or a disabled dependent of any age, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses of $3,000 ($1,050) for one child or dependent, or up to $6,000 ($2,100) for two or more children or dependents for tax year 2020, but under the American Rescue Plan the credit for child care will be increased for tax year 2021 only (the taxes you file in 2022).
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
Deducting Mortgage Interest FAQs
If you're a homeowner, you probably qualify for a deduction on your home mortgage interest. The tax deduction also applies if you pay interest on a condominium, cooperative, mobile home, boat or recreational vehicle used as a residence.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
What to Expect Tax-Wise from Your Summer Job
You won't know what to expect tax-wise from your summer job unless you consider factors other than how much you earn.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com
Summer Tax Tips
Smart tax planning happens all year round. Here are four things you can do this summer to improve your standing when tax time rolls around again.
Read MoreBrought to you byTurboTax.com